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France’s green party EELV on Monday elected MEP and former Greenpeace activist Yannick Jadot as its candidate for next year’s presidential election.
Jadot, 49, won the party’s primary with 54 percent of the vote, defeating fellow MEP Michele Rivasi who took 40.75 percent.
An environmentalist and humanitarian who coordinated Greenpeace campaigns in France between 2002 and 2008, Jadot was elected to the European Parliament in 2009.
Cecile Duflot, a former ecology minister in President Francois Hollande’s Socialist government, had been considered the frontrunner but was knocked out in the first round of the EELV party primary on October 19.
Jadot was the surprise winner, scoring 35.6 percent to Rivasi’s 30 percent.
Turnout in Monday’s runoff was 80 percent, some 10 percentage points higher than for the first round.
The presidential vote is set for April 23 and May 7, with centre-right former prime minister Alain Juppe tipped to win.
Duflot, who was the party’s national secretary from 2010 to 2012, conceded when she launched her bid for the EELV nomination that the ecologists had “little space” in the election.
The greens’ candidate Eva Joly won 2.3 percent of the vote in the 2012 presidential election.